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Bugs in our Soul
In the acclaimed 2016 bestseller, The Road to Character, author David Brooks delves into the fundamental concept that there are inherent flaws in human nature, often leading us toward selfishness and pride. These flaws, or "bugs in our souls" as he refers to them, tempt us to prioritize lower desires over higher virtues. It’s a notion espoused by nearly every theistic religion and deistic philosophy, highlighting the need for personal growth and the pursuit of a more meaningful life.
But in the realm of non-dualistic thought systems like A Course in Miracles, these "bugs" of self-identification, desire, and approval are not bugs at all; they are features deliberately designed by the wrong-minded belief in separation.
The world is merely a projection of the idea that there can be something separate and distinct from oneness. Concepts like self-centeredness and self-identification are not accidental flaws but rather intentional elements of this wrong-minded belief. They exist to perpetuate the illusion of a separate self, reinforcing the sense of "me." This design keeps our focus firmly fixed on the apparent reality of the external world, diverting attention away from the mind where a different choice may be made—against such a limiting judgment.
The course emphasizes that the world does nothing and has no intrinsic effects. It merely mirrors our thoughts. The world, in this perspective, is false perception, a formation of egoic beliefs. By understanding the source of thought and learning to change it, we can experience a profound shift in our conception of reality.
From the right-minded reflection of love, the self transforms into an all-inclusive sense of joy and peace. Notions of transgression and redemption dissolve into nothingness, allowing the reality of truth to shine forth. As we read in the course, "There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back?" (W-pII.4.5)
A return to Heaven awaits but our mind’s choice.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the concept of "bugs in our soul" and how we can see through this purposive pretense. I look forward to seeing you then.